Companion Animals Are Dying in Hot Weather—These Are the Reported Cases

Last updated on December 5, 2023:

The number of dogs and other companion animals who have reportedly died from heat-related causes so far in 2023:

161

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Every year, PETA receives reports about dogs, cats, and other animals who have died after being left in hot cars or outside during hot weather. More than twice as many dogs and cats reportedly died from heat-related causes in 2023 than in any other year on record—and those are just the ones that were reported. Most almost certainly aren’t.

Year Deaths Deaths Rescues Rescues
2023 161 See the list. 764 See the list.
2022 58 See the list. 490 See the list.
2021 60 See the list. 145 See the list.
2020 32 See the list. 50 See the list.
2019 53 See the list. 125 See the list.
2018 60 See the list. 93 See the list.


The following list is a compilation of heat-related deaths of companion animals reported in 2023:

Date Location Number of Dogs or Other Animals Who Died Notes
10/24/2023 Rikers Island, New York 1 A K-9 died after being left in a hot patrol vehicle.
10/21/2023 Honolulu, Hawaii 5 Five dogs died from heat exposure after a circuit failure turned off the air conditioning at a training facility.
9/23/2023 Lafayette, Louisiana 1 A dog died from heat exhaustion while playing outside at a hunting club.
9/21/2023 Houston, Texas 1 One dog died and another was rescued from a van, owned by a “pet transport” company, that had overheated while the driver stopped to take a nap.
9/15/2023 The Colony, Texas 1 A dog died from heat exhaustion after being left in the custody of an unlicensed boarding facility. The business’s owner was arrested in connection with cruelty to animals.
9/13/2023 Miramar, Florida 1 A dog died after overheating while at a groomer.
9/12/2023 York County, Virginia 1 An infant and a dog died after being left in a car for six hours.
8/28/2023 La Mesa, California 1 A dog died after being left in a hot car at a trolley station for hours.
8/22/2023 Birmingham, Alabama 3 Three dogs died after being left in a locked car outside a gas station.
8/21/2023 Parsons, Kansas 1 A K-9 died while left in a kennel outside with no shade on a 104-degree day.
8/21/2023 Riverside, Iowa 9 A total of 131 dogs were rescued from a breeder after being found in “hot, dirty conditions.” Nine of the dogs later died, some from heatstroke.
8/18/2023 Jacksonville, Florida 1 A dog died after a dog walker took him on an hour-long walk during a heat advisory.
8/17/2023 Seattle, Washington 2 Two dogs died in the cargo hold of a military plane flying from Japan to Seattle.
8/12/2023 Lake Worth Beach, Florida 3 A woman was charged with cruelty to animals after three dogs she’d been sitting apparently died in her hot car.
8/9/2023 Phoenix, Arizona 1 One dog died and another barely survived being taken on a hike in triple-digit heat.
8/9/2023 Lehigh Acres, Florida 1 A dog died after being left in an unventilated garage.
8/8/2023 Kenner, Louisiana 1 A dog died after being left in a hot U-Haul truck for an hour.
8/8/2023 Bishop, Texas 1 Police took two dogs from owners who had let a third die after leaving them all out in the heat.
8/6/2023 Plaquemine, Louisiana 1 A dog died after being left in a hot crate near the Mississippi River.
8/6/2023 Harrison County, Mississippi 4 In separate incidents, four dogs died from heat-related causes in one day.
8/6/2023 North Amityville, New York 1 A man was charged with cruelty to animals and making false statements to police after a dog was found dead in a hot car.
8/1/2023 Hot Springs, Arkansas 1 One dog survived and one died after being left outside during a heat wave without shade, shelter, or water.
7/31/2023 Hot Springs, Arkansas 1 A dog died from overheating despite being pulled from a hot car by a police officer.
7/29/2023 Sharptown, Maryland 1 A K-9 died after being left in a hot car during a birthday party.
7/28/2023 Marshalltown, Iowa 1 Two dogs were rescued and one died after being left outside in triple-digit heat with food and water that were out of reach.
7/27/2023 Cherokee County, Georgia 7 Seven puppies died after being abandoned in a crate in the Georgia heat.
7/27/2023 Tulsa, Oklahoma 2 Two dogs died from heat-related illnesses while hiking on Turkey Mountain.
7/27/2023 Lake Station, Indiana 8 Eight of 19 dogs headed for a police training camp died in transit after the truck’s air conditioning failed.
7/26/2023 Hattiesburg, Mississippi 12 Twelve dogs died after air conditioning failed en route to an adoption event. Twenty-two dogs survived.
7/25/2023 Salt Lake City, Utah 1 A dog died after his or her owner ran out of water for the two of them on a hike in the heat.
7/24/2023 Las Vegas, Nevada 2 Two dogs died in separate incidents after landlords failed to repair air-conditioning units during a heat wave.
7/24/2023 Brookings, South Dakota 1 A dog died after being left in a hot car overnight.
7/24/2023 Las Vegas, Nevada 1 A dog died after being tied up outside in 114-degree heat.
7/22/2023 Ocala, Florida 1 A dog died of heatstroke a few hours after being dropped off at a boarding facility. His temperature was 109, according to his veterinarian.
7/21/2023 Hudson, Florida 2 Two dogs died after being left in a car in a Walmart parking lot for an hour.
7/19/2023 Chubbuck, Idaho 1 A dog was found dead in a car more than a week after his or her owner was arrested.
7/14/2023 Laredo, Texas 1 A dog died after being tied to an outdoor grill in the heat.
7/14/2023 Lincoln, Rhode Island 1 A dog was found dead after being left in a hot car outside a casino for several hours.
7/14/2023 Las Vegas, Nevada 2 Two puppies died and seven were rescued from a hot car outside a motel.
7/13/2023 Salt Lake City, Utah 1 A K-9 died while waiting in a police car outside a correctional facility.
7/12/2023 Queen Creek, Arizona 1 A dog died after being left out in the heat by a cleaning crew.
7/11/2023 Fort Myers, Florida 1 A dog died after being left tethered to a pole in 95-degree heat all morning.
7/4/2023 Oceana, West Virginia 1 A K-9 died after being left in a patrol cruiser on a hot day.
7/4/2023 Denver, Colorado 1 Witnesses failed to save a dog with CPR after pulling the animal from a hot car in a golf course parking lot.
7/3/2023 Houston, Texas 2 Two dogs were found dead and one emaciated without water on a balcony in the heat.
7/2/2023 Geneva, Florida 1 A dog died after being left in a hot car for hours while their owner went on a boat ride.
7/2/2023 Forest Heights, Maryland 1 A K-9 died of heat exhaustion while searching for a burglary suspect in a school.
7/1/2023 Castle Pines, Colorado 1 A dog died after being forgotten in a hot car for over an hour.
7/1/2023 Spring, Texas 1 One dog died and another recovered after being left outside for hours at a boarding facility.
6/30/2023 Las Vegas, Nevada 1 A dog died an hour after being left at a boarding facility, where he’d gone outside in triple-digit temperatures.
6/26/2023 Houston, Texas 1 Seven dogs were found in a backyard during sweltering heat.
6/25/2023 Roanoke, Virginia 1 Four dogs were confiscated after a man left two of them in a hot car. One died.
6/25/2023 Houston, Texas 13 Twelve cats and one dog were found dead and six cats were rescued after the animals were left in a vacant apartment during a heat wave.
6/24/2023 Fort Myers, Florida 3 Three dogs were found dead from heatstroke in an unventilated shed.
6/24/2023 Shreveport, Louisiana 1 A K-9 died from heat-related injuries while on duty.
6/22/2023 Austin, Texas 1 Eight puppies were found in a trash bag outside during a heat wave, and one later died.
6/18/2023 Fort White, Florida 12 An air-conditioning failure led to the deaths of 12 dogs at a dog-training kennel.
6/18/2023 Hollywood, Florida 1 A dog died after being left in a hot car overnight.
6/17/2023 Ellwood City, Pennsylvania 2 A woman was facing felony charges after leaving two dogs in a hot car. They both died.
6/16/2023 Baytown, Texas 1 A couple and their dog died because it took too long to secure a loan to fix their air conditioner during a heat wave.
6/14/2023 Blue Grass, Iowa 1 A dog died after being left outside for 30 to 60 minutes and then taken into a kennel with faulty air conditioning.
6/13/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A K-9 died from heat exhaustion after the air-conditioning unit in the parked patrol car he was left in malfunctioned.
6/11/2023 Van Buren, Arkansas 1 One dog died and another was rescued after being kept in a backyard without shade.
6/11/2023 Portsmouth, New Hampshire 1 A dog died after being left in a hot car for hours.
6/8/2023 Midland, Texas 1 A dog died from heat exhaustion while in the custody of animal control.
6/7/2023 Arlington, Texas 1 A dog died in a boarding facility’s hot van while their guardians were on their honeymoon.
6/6/2023 Salt Lake City, Utah 1 A dog died from dehydration while on a hike during hot weather.
6/5/2023 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 1 One dog died and 35 others were rescued after being left for eight to 10 hours inside a U-Haul truck in a Walmart parking lot.
6/5/2023 Acworth, Georgia 1 A K-9 died after being left in a patrol car with a malfunctioning air-conditioning unit.
6/5/2023 Oroville, California 3 Three dogs are dead and one is being treated after being left in a hot car outside an apartment building.
6/1/2023 Blue Grass, Iowa 1 A dog died at a kennel after being left out in the heat for 30 minutes to an hour.
5/26/2023 Wayne Township, Ohio 1 A dog died after being left in the car during a six-hour eviction process.
5/25/2023 Clayton County, Georgia 1 A K-9 died of a heat-related illness while working at an airport.
5/25/2023 Garland, Texas 1 A dog died of heatstroke and dehydration while at a professional training facility.
5/17/2023 Portland, Oregon 1 A dog was found dead in a van during a heat wave.
5/15/2023 Sparta, Wisconsin 1 A sheriff’s office K-9 died days after sustaining a “heat-related injury.”
5/10/2023 Sidney, Ohio 1 A dog died in a hot car after the driver reportedly had a panic attack and walked away for several hours.
4/29/2023 Valley Center, California 1 A dog died after being left in a hot van during a dog show.
4/4/2023 Rowan County, North Carolina 1 A K-9 died from heat exhaustion in a police cruiser.
3/12/2023 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 4 Four puppies died after being left inside a hot car in a garage.
3/02/2023 Naples, Florida 1 A woman was arrested after leaving a dog in a hot car for hours during an argument, causing the animal’s death.

The following list is a compilation of heat-related rescues of companion animals reported in 2023:

Date Location Number of Dogs or Other Animals Rescued Notes
10/23/2023 St. Louis, Missouri 1 A dog was rescued from a hot dumpster after neighbors saw a woman abandon the animal.
10/4/2023 Martin County, Florida 9 A woman was arrested for allegedly dumping nine dogs in the woods during “sweltering heat” without food or water.
10/4/2023 Council Bluffs, Iowa 12 Local animal shelters rescued 12 dogs after the bus transporting them was destroyed in a crash, leaving them stranded without air conditioning in hot weather.
9/23/2023 Anza, California 1 A dog was rescued by AAA after accidentally locking himself in a car on a hot day.
9/23/2023 Minford, Ohio 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car in the  parking lot of a farm.
9/21/2023 Houston, Texas 1 One dog died and another was rescued from a van, owned by a “pet transport” company, that had overheated while the driver stopped to take a nap.
9/15/2023 Atlanta, Georgia 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car after a restaurant server called the police.
9/9/2023 Port Townsend, Washington 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car in which they had been left muzzled in direct sun for hours.
9/7/2023 East Greenwich, Rhode Island 3 Police rescued three dogs from a hot car where they lived with their owner.
9/6/2023 Benton, Kentucky 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car outside a Walmart store.
9/6/2023 East Greenwich, Rhode Island 1 Police officers saved a dog in a hot car by threatening to charge the owner if he didn’t leave the coffee shop immediately.
9/4/2023 Palmer, Massachusetts 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car while their owner was grocery shopping.
9/3/2023 Salem, Ohio 1 A man was charged with a misdemeanor after leaving a dog in his truck on a hot day.
9/1/2023 Maricopa, Arizona 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car after their owner passed out while driving drunk.
8/28/2023 San Antonio, Texas 2 A hiker rescued two kittens from the Texas heat.
8/27/2023 Pasadena, California 15 Fifteen dogs were rescued from a locked van during a heat wave.
8/25/2023 Burlington, Iowa 1 A woman was cited for leaving her dog in a hot car while shopping.
8/25/2023 Pearland, Texas 85 Reports of escaped dogs led police officers to rescue 85 dogs, some who were being kept without shade or water.
8/25/2023 Henderson, Kentucky 1 Police officers rescued a panting and distressed dog from a car on a 101-degree day.
8/22/2023 Omaha, Nebraska 8 Police officers rescued eight dogs from a hot car, and one officer got bitten in the process.
8/22/2023 Gainesville, Georgia 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car parked in direct sunlight.
8/22/2023 Brighton, Colorado 1 A dog was rescued from a car whose interior had reached 113 degrees.
8/21/2023 Riverside, Iowa 122 A total of 131 dogs were rescued from a breeder after being found in “hot, dirty conditions.” Nine of the dogs later died, some from heatstroke.
8/21/2023 St. Louis, Missouri 1 A dog abandoned outside amid record-setting temperatures was rescued.
8/21/2023 Paducah, Kentucky 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car outside a mall on a 92-degree day.
8/21/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A dog found overheating on a balcony was rescued.
8/20/2023 East Haven, Connecticut 1 A dog was adopted by the firefighters who had rescued the animal from a 122-degree car.
8/16/2023 Williamson County, Texas 1 A dog is recovering from a 107-degree internal body temperature after being left outside.
8/15/2023 Liberty, South Carolina 1 A dog was found abandoned behind a humane society in a closed plastic container during 90-degree weather.
8/14/2023 Mission, British Columbia, Canada 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car during a heat wave.
8/13/2023 North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 1 A hot and exhausted dog was rescued from a trail during a hike.
8/13/2023 Gardena, California 15 Fifteen dogs were found in an unhoused woman’s hot car while she was in a casino.
8/9/2023 Phoenix, Arizona 1 One dog died and another barely survived being taken on a hike in triple-digit heat.
8/8/2023 Hollywood, Florida 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car outside a casino during a heat wave.
8/8/2023 Bishop, Texas 2 Police took two dogs from owners who had let a third die after leaving them all out in the heat.
8/7/2023 Indianapolis, Indiana 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car in the parking lot of the Indiana State Fair.
8/3/2023 Atascosa, Texas 52 Fifty-two dogs were rescued after being kept outside in the Texas heat.
8/1/2023 Hot Springs, Arkansas 1 One dog survived and one died after being left outside during a heat wave without shade, shelter, or water.
7/28/2023 Quincy, Massachusetts 2 Two dogs were rescued from a hot car in a parking garage.
7/28/2023 Marshalltown, Iowa 2 Two dogs were rescued and one died after being left outside in triple-digit heat with food and water that were out of reach.
7/27/2023 Madison Township, Ohio 86 Eighty-six living and 30 dead dogs were being kept in a garage with no ventilation and another building by a supposed dog rescue group.
7/27/2023 Lake Station, Indiana 11 Eleven of 19 dogs headed for a police training camp died in transit after the truck’s air conditioning failed.
7/27/2023 Valparaiso, Indiana 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car in a hospital parking lot.
7/26/2023 Tipton, Iowa 39 Thirty-nine dogs were rescued from a room that was hotter than the excessive heat outside.
7/26/2023 Hattiesburg, Mississippi 22 Twelve dogs died after air conditioning failed en route to an adoption event. Twenty-two dogs survived.
7/25/2023 Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma 2 A dog and a cat were rescued from a hot trailer, where many other animals had died from neglect.
7/22/2023 Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada 1 Police officers rescued a dog from a hot car.
7/22/2023 Monrovia, California 1 A search-and-rescue dog was airlifted out of a national forest after becoming overheated while searching for a hiker.
7/21/2023 Hill County, Texas 1 A dog was rescued after being abandoned outside a gas station in the heat.
7/19/2023 Lemoore, California 1 A dog was rescued after being abandoned in a field during 110-degree heat.
7/18/2023 Lynwood, California 1 A woman saved a dog from a hot car in which the owner had left the animal for at least an hour.
7/18/2023 Las Vegas, Nevada 1 A 13-year-old dog was rescued from a hot car.
7/17/2023 Tampa, Florida 9 A mother dog and her eight puppies were rescued after being left in a rusty cage in the heat.
7/15/2023 Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car in a Costco parking lot.
7/14/2023 Las Vegas, Nevada 7 Two puppies died and seven were rescued from a hot car outside a motel.
7/13/2023 Austin, Texas 1 An overheated cat was rescued from the street.
7/13/2023 Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada 14 Two abandoned mother dogs and their 12 puppies were found sheltering from the heat under a trailer along the highway.
7/13/2023 Atlantic City, New Jersey 2 A dog and a cat were left in a hot car outside a casino.
7/11/2023 Fort Myers, Florida 1 Animal control rescued a dog who was tied up outside in the heat and cited the animal’s owners.
7/11/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A puppy and a child were left in a hot car for three hours.
7/10/2023 Manhattan, Kansas 1 A cat was rescued after being abandoned in a parking lot in sweltering heat.
7/9/2023 North Richland Hills, Texas 1 A dog was rescued after getting stuck under a shed in the heat.
7/7/2023 Dedham, Massachusetts 2 Good Samaritans rescued two puppies from a hot car.
7/7/2023 Montréal, Québec, Canada 1 A dog was rescued after being left outside in a crate for 48 hours during a heat wave.
7/6/2023 South Burlington, Vermont 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car after being left tied to the seat in 90-degree temperatures.
7/4/2023 Niagara Falls, New York 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car while their owner was in a casino.
7/3/2023 Hamilton Township, Pennsylvania 2 Two dogs were rescued from hot cars in separate incidents on the same day.
7/3/2023 North Charleston, South Carolina 8 Eight puppies were found suffering from heat exposure in a plastic crate.
7/3/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A dog was found panting and wearing a muzzle on a balcony in the heat.
7/3/2023 Houston, Texas 1 Two dogs were found dead and one emaciated without water on a balcony in the heat.
7/3/2023 Denver, Colorado 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car while their owners were at the zoo.
7/2/2023 Kennesaw, Georgia 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car while their owner was shopping at Costco.
7/1/2023 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 1 A dog was rescued after being abandoned on the steps of an animal adoption center in the heat.
7/1/2023 Spring, Texas 1 One dog died and another recovered after being left outside for hours at a boarding facility.
7/1/2023 Cleveland, Ohio 2 A man was arrested after allegedly leaving two puppies in a hot car outside an apartment building.
6/30/2023 Monrovia, California 38 Thirty-eight cats were rescued from a trailer without air conditioning.
6/30/2023 Marshall, Wisconsin 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car after being locked inside for a whole day.
6/30/2023 Tulsa, Oklahoma 2 A guardian brought two dogs to the vet to be treated for heatstroke.
6/29/2023 Houston, Texas 28 Twenty-eight animals were rescued from “an unsheltered … area” during a heat wave.
6/27/2023 Spring, Texas 1 A dog was rushed to the vet after being left out in the heat at a boarding facility.
6/26/2023 Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada 1 An unresponsive dog recovered after being rescued from a hot car.
6/26/2023 Atlanta, Georgia 1 Firefighters gave a puppy water after rescuing the animal from a hot car.
6/26/2023 Chehalis, Washington 1 A dog was found in distress in a hot car.
6/26/2023 Houston, Texas 6 Seven dogs were found in a backyard during sweltering heat.
6/26/2023 Cambridge, Ontario, Canada 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car in a Walmart parking lot.
6/25/2023 Roanoke, Virginia 1 Four dogs were confiscated after a man left two of them in a hot car. One died.
6/25/2023 Madison, Wisconsin 2 A police officer saved two dogs from hot cars during one day.
6/25/2023 El Paso, Texas 2 Two dogs were rescued after escaping from a yard and becoming exhausted during a heat wave.
6/25/2023 Houston, Texas 6 Twelve cats and one dog were found dead and six cats were rescued after the animals were left in a vacant apartment during a heat wave.
6/22/2023 Austin, Texas 7 Eight puppies were found in a trash bag outside during a heat wave, and one later died.
6/22/2023 Windsor Heights, Iowa 9 Two adult dogs and seven puppies were rescued after they were left in a hot car for over an hour.
6/22/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A panting dog with no water or shelter from the sun was rescued from the back of a truck parked next to a county jail.
6/20/2023 Helotes, Texas 1 A dog was found barking in a storage locker on a hot day.
6/20/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A dog wearing a sweater in triple- digit temperatures was taken to the emergency room with heat-related issues.
6/19/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A dog was rescued from a cage under an extremely hot table and was given a cooling bath.
6/19/2023 Colorado Springs, Colorado 1 A dog found vomiting from heat exhaustion was rehabilitated and returned home.
6/19/2023 Cleveland, Texas 7 A homeless mother dog and her six puppies were rescued from the heat.
6/16/2023 Houston, Texas 1 A dog in heat distress was rescued from an outdoor kennel.
6/16/2023 Agua Dulce, California 1 A dog was rescued after becoming too hot and dehydrated to walk during a hike.
6/11/2023 Van Buren, Arkansas 1 One dog died and another was rescued after being kept in a backyard without shade.
6/9/2023 Austell, Georgia 2 Two dogs were rescued from a hot car in a Six Flags parking lot.
6/5/2023 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 35 One dog died and 35 others were rescued after being left for eight to 10 hours inside a U-Haul truck in a Walmart parking lot.
6/5/2023 Oroville, California 1 Three dogs are dead and one is being treated after being left in a hot car outside an apartment building.
6/3/2023 Aiken, South Carolina 1 A dog was rescued after being left in a hot car while their owner was working.
6/2/2023 Athens, Georgia 1 Police took a dog from a homeless man after finding the animal tied to a gearshift in a hot car nearby.
6/2/2023 Auburn, New York 2 Two dogs were rescued from their tarp-covered crates in the heat.
6/2/2023 Paducah, Kentucky 1 A dog was rescued after being left in a car overnight with no food or water.
5/11/2023 Lee County, Florida 1 A sheriff’s deputy rescued a dog from a hot car.
5/10/2023 Port Charlotte, Florida 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car in a mall parking lot.
5/8/2023 Fayetteville, Arkansas 13 Thirteen dogs were dewormed and vaccinated after being rescued from a hot SUV.
4/23/2023 Clayton, North Carolina 1 A puppy was rescued from a hot car outside a Walmart store.
4/13/2023 Niles, Illinois 1 A dog was rescued from a hot car outside a Walmart store.
4/11/2023
Dedham, Massachusetts 5
Police officers rescued five dogs from hot cars.

No animal should endure a heat-related death. It’s inexcusable.

URGENT: Dogs trapped inside hot cars can DIE 🚫☀️🚙🐕If you spot a dog who needs help, here's what you can do: http://peta.vg/28na

Posted by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on Thursday, June 7, 2018

As guardians, we must take these vital steps in order to protect our beloved family members:

1. Keep dogs and cats indoors.

Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, which makes it extra hard for them to beat the heat. Being left outside in hot weather can cause heat stress, injury, or death.

2. Never leave your dog—or any other animal—in a hot car.

It’s like being baked alive. Heatstroke can happen in just minutes, even with the car’s windows partially rolled down. And opening a window slightly won’t help—parking in the shade or leaving water in the vehicle won’t prevent your dog from overheating, either.

3. If you see a dog in a hot car …

… call 911 immediately. While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, write down the car’s make, model, and license plate number, or take a picture of the vehicle and go to the nearest building to find a manager and ask that the owner of the car be paged. If authorities are unresponsive or too slow to respond and the animal’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness who will back up your assessment before carefully removing the animal from the car and carrying him or her into the shade. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in these life-or-death situations. Don’t leave until the authorities arrive on the scene and you know that the dog is safe. Learn more about what to do if you see a dog in a hot car.

4. Recognize the symptoms of heatstroke, and take action if you see them.

Heatstroke is a potentially fatal emergency. Symptoms include restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite or coordination. If a dog is exhibiting these signs, attempt to lower the body temperature by providing the animal with water and applying a cold towel to the head and chest. If someone is with you, one of you should take these steps in the car as the other drives the dog to a veterinarian.

5. Be mindful when walking a dog in hot weather.

On a hot day, the pavement on sidewalks can reach temperatures between 130 and 180 degrees, which is hot enough to hurt your dog’s feet and even seriously burn them. Here are some helpful tips when walking your companion in the heat:

  • Always test the pavement with the palm of your hand before setting out—if it feels hot, it’s too hot for Spot.
  • Walk early in the morning or late in the evening, when it’s cooler.
  • Choose shady routes.
  • Carry water, and take frequent breaks.
  • Never make dogs wear muzzles or halters that restrict their breathing.
  • Opt for a lightweight fabric collar or a nifty Swamp Cooler vest.
  • Walk—don’t run. Dogs will run to the point of collapse just to please you. At that point, it may be too late to save them.

Together, we can help drastically reduce the number of dogs and other animal companions who die in hot weather and even eliminate these tragedies altogether. Animals are counting on us—as their guardians and as good Samaritans—to keep them safe. We mustn’t let them down.

Take Action Now

The Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats (HOT CARS) Act of 2017 aims to minimize the number of children and animals who die in hot cars every year by requiring that automakers equip all vehicles with technology that alerts drivers when a passenger remains in the backseat after the engine has been turned off. Sadly, since the bill was introduced, more deaths have occurred—and there will certainly be more in the months ahead. But we can prevent tragedies like these. Click below to help:

Make sure that all your friends and family know the potentially lifesaving hot weather tips above.

Watch this video, listen to this radio clip, and check out this ad to learn more about the reasons why you should never leave a dog in a hot car.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind